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May I Tactfully Suggest…

The phrase “take a different tact” seems to be rearing its ugly head more often these days. Perhaps I’m more sensitive than most to the dissonant clang it makes upon the ears; maybe it’s because I’m doomed to spend a lot of time with people who like the way my face contorts every time they say it.

So let’s just go ahead and fix it, shall we?

The correct phrase is “take a different tack.” Tack is a nautical term for the position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails. Tacking is the act of bringing a ship into the wind in order to change course or direction.

Get it? A new approach is a different tack. But it doesn’t always require tact.

12.15.2010, 9:54am
by Spimbi

Perhaps you should start handing out copies of Buckley’s “Airborne” to all offenders.

12.15.2010, 10:00am
by Aaron Bragg

In addition to the enormous financial hit I’d take, it’s just rewarding bad behavior.

12.15.2010, 10:27am
by Spimbi

But just consider the satisfaction you would receive in educating the general population.

12.15.2010, 11:54am
by Aaron Bragg

I’m not here to educate. I’m here to crack some skulls.



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